When Andrew Spanswick, CEO of KLEAN Treatment Center in West Hollywood, first arrived in California from a background in acute care psychiatry, he had a vision of setting up his own “premier, organically built treatment center.”
The former CEO of Wonderland Treatment Center soon started his own allusively named organization, White Rabbit Inc., and in June, he opened the KLEAN Treatment Center in West Hollywood. From the beginning, Spanswick says he wanted the 24-bed facility to offer “several things that were different”-a goal that played an important part in selecting the right location.
“We wanted to be well integrated into the community,” he explains. “That's why we're in the middle of West Hollywood-not out in Malibu or out in the desert somewhere like Palm Springs. We're literally right in the center of town, but we also have this little oasis.”
That “oasis” consists of a series of townhouses that surround a large central courtyard. The secluded location makes it so “you might never know we existed unless you were looking,” Spanswick says, but the former luxury apartments offer clients a unique level of privacy and high-end benefits.
In fact, clients live in beautifully decorated private and semi-private luxury apartments. They enjoy amenities including gourmet prepared food, flat screen TVs and wireless computer access. Every unit contains a single and a double apartment, with a living room and bathroom in each.
Recognizing that nutrition and diet are key elements to successful sober programs, KLEAN offers clients nutritional guidance, food preparation classes, and cooking assistance. They also prepare their own breakfasts, utilizing kitchens that are fully stocked with snacks and breakfast foods.
“We also have a lot of outdoor, covered areas that are very comfortable for people to do work and have therapeutic interventions.”
During the day, clients attend psycho-educational groups led by clinicians and group facilitators. Each client is assigned a case manager, a licensed clinician who provides them an individual counseling session, as well as contact with referral agents, family members, physicians, and collaterals.
"Individualized care is one of the most important elements that we have developed,” notes Spanswick. “So we have a lot of individual sessions, but coming out of acute care, we also have multiple modalities of care.”
KLEAN has recruited a variety of clinicians who do everything from psychoanalytic work and cognitive-behavioral therapy, to dialectical behavior therapy and trauma-based treatment. “We are very clearly therapeutically oriented,” Spanswick adds. “We are less of a retreat and more aligned with integrated, mainstream treatment.”
An important part of treatment at KLEAN is spirituality, which is addressed through daily reflections and meditation, as well as exercise and health-wellness. Clients begin their day at the gym with a choice of weights, aerobics and calisthenics, or a yoga class.
These activities help to prevent clients from feeling isolated, and helps get them into more group situations. “We also have a lot of outdoor, covered areas that are very comfortable for people to do work and have therapeutic interventions,” Spanswick says.
The surroundings introduce important opportunities for clients to get involved in the community, which Spanswick says has created a strong “social model,” in which clients become “very integrated in the community in which we live.”
Another benefit is the proximity to 12-Step meetings in West Hollywood. Spanswick estimates that almost 30 meetings likely take place on any given day-and they are all within walking distance of KLEAN. “That's one of the beauties of being in West Hollywood-we're surrounded by four or five centers where meetings are being held all day long.”